Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why-y-y-y

When those rejections come rollin’ in (and they do – we just hope that they come mixed in with requests) it’s really easy to get stuck on WHY. But dissecting a form rejection is fruitless, and just a tad crazy.

So here are some questions you can ask instead.

WHO – are your beta readers. While your mother, your best friend, and even your high school students may not pull any punches, they also are more likely to “get” you. They know your sense of humor, and they’re already used to the way you phrase things. Get people you aren’t close with. They’ll know if your jokes fall flat or if your voice is off.

WHAT – are you sending out. Are you following query instructions? Does your query look professional?

WHEN – will the first draft of your next book be done? You’ve started it, right? Focusing on increasing the word count of your other projects is a nice way to dilute obsessive thoughts.

WHERE
– are you sending your queries? Did you check them out on P&E and the AW Bewares thread? You did put in a lot of work on your baby – make sure you’re trying to get it into the right hands.

HOW
– can you improve? If you’re lucky enough to get non-form rejections, they can contain valuable advice and commentary for the next time around. You also might get a better sense of which agents to query in the future.
Thoughts? Other questions? Comments!

8 comments:

Kaitlin said...

I like this :) It's definitely much better to focus on the things you can control than the things you can't. (Hard as it is not to obsess...)

Adventures in Children's Publishing said...

Form rejections are so hard to handle because they are impossible to analyze. I think this list of questions actually gives writers the power to figure out what they can do until that request comes along. Thanks!

Candyland said...

This is great. It's definitely good to have other things to distract you away from the big R's.

Christina Lee said...

Good stuff! Def. could use these reminders right now!

Angelica R. Jackson said...

Good post, but I never thought I'd long for rejections to come. Because they're better than the "will only respond if interested" and you're left hanging. Gaaah!

Hmath said...

I'm not a fan of no response=no, either. Generally, I don't query agents who have that policy. They really have to be something special (like I've heard good things about them from people I know and like).

Krista Ashe said...

Ah, the epic WHY!!! I remember those querying WHY days and now it's the "same song, second verse" kinda things with being on sub.

It's so much better when you get feedback...be it good feedback from betas or agents, etc.

Good post!!!

J.S. Wood said...

I think concentrating on the next ms is very important while querying. You can focus on only that which you can control. Saves sanity!